Police increase patrols following Providence homicide

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Chief of Providence Police has called for increased patrols in the city after three people were shot in the past week.

Police have not yet made an arrest in the murder of 20-year-old Davon Taylor, who was shot Wednesday afternoon while sitting in a car on Wendell Street. His 15-year-old sister, Destiny, was also struck by the gunfire and injured.

Just one day before, a young man was injured in a shooting inside an Ontario Street home.

Taylor’s family and the surrounding community are grieving the loss of the young man and want answers about what’s being done to stop the violence. Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements said it’s protocol to step up patrols after violent incidents occur.

“There’s increased patrols, and increased plain-clothes units will be out in the respective areas our information, our intelligence tells us where we can expect some violence,” he said.

Wednesday’s fatal shooting marks the city’s sixth homicide of 2014. Col. Clements said violence in Providence tends to be cyclical.

“These young men are prone to violence. They carry guns, they have no regard for human life. We know that,” said Clements. “It’s dangerous out there, even for our people.”

Police are often concerned that violent retaliation will follow a homicide, and they depend on organizations like the Providence Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence to try and keep that from happening.

“Anytime someone is shot, we always worry about retaliation, regardless if it’s gang-related or not,” said the Institute’s Juan Carter. “I’m glad police are beefing up patrol.”

Col. Clements said that despite the violence, last year police had the largest number of guns taken off the street since he became chief.

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